I am Reading James Schuyler’s Hymn to Life
Aloud one page a night, to my own one, my mister,
my grumpy bastard. Nine pages, nine days
and though poetry is not his thing he acquiesces.
The groaning starts immediately at strangulated hernia
and persists until tonsils on a chest of drawers
and he squawks, enough! Thank God for thunderclouds, big
lusty lions that scuttle the coercive heat, all growl
no rain. A canoe bangs over my mister’s weir,
fiberglass scrapes and paints a boulder lurid & green,
bird sounds. The Kettle River purls
as I roll Hymn to Life into a baton to swat
at wasps swarming a big fat roast meat dinner.
Our guests didn’t show and we’re alone,
summery and deathlike; July is not
usually this ideal.